Taking off

From my newly-started travel blog http://blog.travelpod.com/travel-blog/aditi183/1/tpod.html 😀

As if it was that easy to jump on a plane and just take off

Traveling, unless it’s at the nomadic stage, means leaving behind a life to return to and taking enough to sustain life till then. It means winding up life here and packing for the trip.

The shelves have been cleaned and clothes stacked again neatly, food finished in a flurry: lots of generosity to the dustbins. You can reason and estimate and wind up this part of life. But when you get to the music that sustained you through sad times, newspapers and notes that captured your dreams, and all sizes and colours of paper that hold frozen thoughts, reason is useless. Emotional attachment is wholly another transaction, governed by laws we still struggle to find. 

But the distraction of (the possibility of) college life and a great trip ahead me bind the thoughts and memories of my last 2 years into a dreary looking carton box labelled in neat, impersonal letters: ACADEMIC YEARS 2011-2013. My logical justification for storing this emotional paraphernalia? The fervent hope that I will grow up to be that adult in the family/neighbourhood/Internet who all the teens and kids share their dreams and fears with, simply because she hasn’t lost touch with what it meant to be a happy teenager. Because she has not grown out of the optimistic, well-supported and (mostly) peaceful 16 year old that she once was. I have so much to say about the year I was 16, but that’s for another time. 

Clearing out stuff (and memories) also gives you an idea of the stuff (and experiences) that you want next. Not looking into your cupboards or your old diaries pushes up chances of getting stuck in wrong patterns again: but now I better idea of what are the clothes that I’ll buy but never wear, and the decisions that’ll see me end up with loneliness and a box of tissues. Anyway. So much for my promises about staying in the present. 

Right now, I’m packing off to Europe. 😀  

But like I said, you can’t just get on to the plane and just take off. I won’t get started about passports and visas (except that the UK visa office in Chennai is so beautifully done up, as against Indian visa offices that assume that their boring name plates alone attract tourists). There’s lots of woolen wear in bright colours, but I do hope the purpose of our visit doesn’t limit itself to just keeping warm. There’s lots of food — I’m sorry, but Marwadis are Marwadis, trains or planes, Jodhpur or Jungfrao. 

But Papa’s question rings across all the baggage: How less can you do with? With all of the forces acting on the trip, I’d say it’s trying to be the lightest shade of a backpacking trip. We’ve packed expectations and an itinerary, with generous space to allow our free spirits to be pulled by whatever catches their fancy. 

Wait — their fancy? There is no us and them! 

We are the free spirits. 




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